HERAT PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The identity of slain crime syndicate leader Abdullah Akbari was confirmed Sept. 1 following a two-day investigation by Afghanistan Defense Ministry officials.
Akbari died during an Afghan National Army Special Forces and Commando raid Aug. 30 in Guzarah district’s Kowl village.
“The Akbari [criminal group] is a threat to civilization, and killing them is a victory for the Afghan people and the people of Herat,” said Herat Provincial Gov. Sayed Wahidi.
ANASF and commandos assaulted Akbari compounds around midnight Aug. 30 in Kowl village. The notorious criminal Akbari and six other insurgents were killed as they attempted to flee from the engagement.
“[ANASF and Commandos] stood against Akbari like real men and did not feel threatened at all,” said a local villager, following Akbari’s death. “We must praise [ANASF and commandos] for their courage against such acts of crime and for keeping us safe."
Akbari’s father, Ghulam Yahya Akbari, created the criminal network after being fired from his posting as the Herat city mayor in 2006. Akbari inherited control of the syndicate after a joint Afghan-US strike killed his father in October 2009.
Akbari and his subordinates intimidated villages through kidnappings and executions, murdering more than 100 Afghan civilians. Akbari also planned and executed at least 30 attacks against Afghan and coalition forces in the last two years. His network smuggled weapons, drugs and money for Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other Islamic extremist groups.
“Abdullah Akbari was a bad name for us, and now he is dead,” said another villager. “His name always scared the people of Guzarah. He is finally dead, and we will never have to deal with him again.”